Unlike conventional diets, the Mediterranean diet doesn't restrict you to a daily allotment of calories, fat, or sodium. Instead, it’s about what you’re eating, from heart-healthy unsaturated fats to satiating, high-fiber foods. Taking these ideals to heart, we’ve constructed a Mediterranean diet meal plan for beginners from breakfast to dinner. Our recipes maximize flavor and nutrition to create balanced and colorful plates that marry whole grains with vegetables, lean proteins, and more. On top of all of this deliciously nutritious eating, make sure to work physical activity into your day, especially if you have a desk job.

Chris Masterjohn has Cholesterol: Your Life Depends on It!, another web site pointing out that the war on cholesterol and the push to put people on statins is misguided. The site argues it is actually polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats or cholesterol, that contribute to heart disease, cancer, liver damage, and aging. He also has a popular blog.
Make water and unsweetened tea your beverages of choice. Once a coffee drinker, I switched to green tea when I was diagnosed with diabetes. Why? I can drink hot tea without sweetener, but not coffee. Plus I reap the health benefits of green tea. Get soda (regular and diet) out of your life for good. Alcohol can be okay for some people, depending on what medications they take. However, I’ve found that it’s much harder to control my blood glucose when I drink. So, for the most part, I don’t.
The study, led by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, appears in the journal BMJ and is arguably one of the most rigorous diet studies ever done. While it didn’t show exactly what Dr. Oz suggested, it is an important bit of evidence in this debate — and yet another reminder of the incredible difficulty of proving anything when it comes to nutrition.
Fact: The food is a huge part of the diet, yes, but don't overlook the other ways the Mediterraneans live their lives. When they sit down for a meal, they don't sit in front of a television or eat in a rush; they sit down for a relaxed, leisurely meal with others, which may be just as important for your health as what's on your plate. Mediterraneans also enjoy plenty of physical activity.
Autoimmunity is a process in which our bodies own immune system attacks “us.” Normally the immune system protects us from bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. The immune system identifies a foreign invader, attacks it, and ideally clears the infection. A good analogy for autoimmunity is the case of tissue rejection after organ donation. If someone requires a new heart, lung kidney or liver due to disease or injury, a donor organ may be an option. The first step in this process is trying to find a tissue “match”. All of us have molecules in our tissues that our immune system uses to recognize self from non-self. If a donated organ is not close enough to the recipient in tissue type the immune system will attack and destroy the organ. In autoimmunity, a similar process occurs in that an individuals own tissue is confused as something foreign and the immune system attacks this “mislabeled” tissue. Common forms of autoimmunity include Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Vitiligo to name only a tiny fraction of autoimmune diseases. Elements of autoimmunity are likely at play in conditions as seemingly unrelated as Schizophrenia, infertility, and various forms of cancer.
I tried Nutrisystem myself and I got so bored because everything tasted the same. It was to the point where I would start being mean to my poor sweet boss because I was so annoyed with lack of variety. On South Beach, do I have to buy the meal plan? I actually really enjoy cooking and I don’t want to have to live on pre packaged foods, which is another reason I really hated Nutrisystem. Can I prepare the food fresh for myself on South Beach?
I tried cottage cheese for the first time in my life. Someone who shall remain nameless told me that it tastes like what you flavor it with, and she suggested maybe some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Well, I can tell you wholeheartedly that cottage cheese tastes like lumpy-ass cheese, and if you put pumpkin pie spice on it, you pretty much create an insult to Thanksgiving.
What makes some grub extra satisfying? "Fiber and protein can help," says Barbara Rolls, author of "The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet." Getting more bang for your bite matters, too: Low-energy-density foods, which yield big portions for few calories, "allow you to eat more without gaining weight," Rolls says. Want some of that? Make room for these secret-weapon picks.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
The South Beach Diet says that it'll teach you about eliminating so-called "bad" carbs from your diet. It uses the glycemic index and glycemic load to determine which carbs you should avoid. Foods with a high glycemic index tend to increase your blood sugar faster, higher and longer than do foods with a lower index. Some evidence suggests that this increase in blood sugar can boost your appetite, leading to increased eating and weight gain and possibly diabetes, which can all contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Lutein/Zeaxanthin and Macular Health is an article discussing antioxidents and protection against the oxidizing ultraviolet radiation of the sun. The best dietary sources of antioxidants in general, and carotenoids specifically, are fruits and vegetables ­ and the more brightly colored, the better. Lutein and zeaxanthin are yellow pigments found in high concentrations in yellow fruits and vegetables as well as in dark green, leafy vegetables. In particular, spinach, kale and collard greens contain high levels of these two carotenoids.
The caveman-eating style focuses on eating fat and protein with fewer carbs. That said, just because you cut out grains, legumes, beans, sweets, and dairy doesn’t make it automatically low carb, as you can still eat starchy veggies and fruits, which can add up. “A paleo diet can contain a number of carbs ranging from keto to normal carb levels,” says Spritzler. The benefit of a paleo eating plan is it emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods, she says. It can feel meat-heavy if you normally prefer a more plant-based diet. To make sure it stays low-carb, focus on vegetables that fall naturally lower on the carb spectrum, like cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers.

An important emphasis of the South Beach Diet is controlling hunger by eating before it strikes. To that end, the South Beach Diet includes three different phases. (3) Phase 1 is one week long and aims to “reset your body” to help burn fat and increase your metabolism, as well as reduce sugar and starch cravings. Phase 2 is for steady weight loss, where you add in good carbs to your diet. Phase 3 is the weight-maintenance phase, where you learn to maintain your new weight without deprivation or hunger, according to the South Beach Diet website.


Research into the weight loss effects of the paleolithic diet has generally been of poor quality.[10] One trial of obese postmenopausal women found improvements in weight and fat loss after six months, but the benefits had ceased by 24 months; side effects among participants included "weakness, diarrhea, and headaches".[10] In general, any weight loss caused by the diet is merely the result of calorie restriction, rather than a special feature of the diet itself.[10]
In phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, you’ll add whole grains and fruits to your diet, and you will stay on this phase of the weight-loss plan until you reach your goal. “These carbohydrate-rich foods are high in fiber and [are low on the] glycemic index — these good-carb choices have more staying power, take a long period to be processed and absorbed by the body, and prevent the purported fluctuations in blood glucose and quick secretions of insulin,” explains Susan Kraus, RD, a clinical dietitian at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

In 1972, Robert Atkins published Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, which advocated the low-carbohydrate diet he had successfully used in treating patients in the 1960s (having developed the diet from a 1963 article published in JAMA).[71] The book met with some success, but, because of research at that time suggesting risk factors associated with excess fat and protein, it was widely criticized by the mainstream medical community as being dangerous and misleading, thereby limiting its appeal at the time.[72]

Still, many scientists have expressed concern that we do not yet have enough evidence to make any strong claims about the paleo diet’s health benefits, especially its long-term effects. In fact, in an article in response to the first review, authors Tanis R. Fenton and Carol J. Fenton, from the Cumming School of Medicine in Canada, wrote a letter to the editor in which they expressed their disappointment with the review. (5)

Oh, by the way : We are prematurely killing our beloved pets with carbs. Dogs and especially cats need to eat meat, but commercial pet food is mostly corn & wheat, which was bad enough before being poisoned by weed killer (“Round-Up” which is soaked into all American grain today) …. Huge numbers of cats and dogs now suffer & die from kidney failure, and the only explanation is what we are feeding them. My kitties now get chicken and tuna, which is a lot cheaper than any ‘gourmet’ canned food. Cooking for them is kinda fun, for that matter.


These researchers point out that there are plenty of reasons to suggest that the low-fat-is-good-health hypothesis has now effectively failed the test of time. In particular, that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic that started around the early 1980’s, and that this was coincident with the rise of the low-fat dogma. (Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, also rose significantly through this period.)
Jan Engvald has studied food and health thoroughly in the literature. In Unexpected facts on... food he shows that today's health advice (more or less unchanged for more than 30 years) is a direct cause to the increase in national diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, adult-onset diabetes, allergy, eye diseases, etc. His findings are low-carb and high-fat, close to paleo, though he allows high fat dairy.
Knowing what to eat is part of it, but following this fairly restrictive lifestyle in a modern environment surrounded by cookies and candy and bagels and pasta is really difficult! Factor in the “carb flu” you might go through in the first few weeks (as your body gets weaned off of carbohydrate fuel and habits), and most people give up on the Paleo diet long before it creates lasting change!
The paleo diet is meant to mimic what our preagricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. The premise is that the current Western diet is contributing to the rise of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and cancer. This diet, paleo proponents claim, can reduce inflammation, improve workouts, increase energy, help with weight loss, stabilize blood sugar and even reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Although there has been some research done throughout the twentieth century, most directly relevant scientific studies have occurred in the 1990s and early 2000s and, as such, are relatively new and the results are still debated in the medical community.[35] Supporters and opponents of low-carbohydrate diets frequently cite many articles (sometimes the same articles) as supporting their positions.[36][37][38] One of the fundamental criticisms of those who advocate the low-carbohydrate diets has been the lack of long-term studies evaluating their health risks.[39][40] This has begun to change as longer term studies are emerging.[41] A meta-analysis of five clinical trials including 447 individuals found that low fat and low carbohydrate diets are equally effective for weight loss up to one year. [42]
For instance, the fat allowance of the diet may be problematic. “My biggest hang-up with the paleo diet is all of the saturated fats it promotes with all of the meats,” explains Holley, noting that you could look for a locally sourced meat, whose origin and method of raising you're aware of, as a healthier option. Saturated fat from meat has been linked with an increased risk of early death. (9)
The Paleo concept is new for most people and this newness can spark many questions. We like people to not only read about and educate themselves on this topic but also to “get in and do it.” Experience is perhaps the best teacher and often cuts through any confusion surrounding this way of eating. Now, all that considered, there are still some common counter arguments to the Paleo diet that happen with sufficient frequency that a whole paper was written on it. Enjoy: Evolutionary Health Promotion. A consideration of common counter-arguments.
I started seeing a nutritionist, who has started me on a B-12 injection 2 times monthly, and a LCHF diet. He wants me to stay between 20-35 carbs daily for at least 3 months. He says I need to buy ketone strips, to make sure I don’t go into ketoacidosis, however, I am otherwise healthy, and not diabetic. Is this something I need to be overly concerned about? I’m on my 4th day of approx. 25 carbs daily, and other than a slight headache, I feel fine.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
Lucky for me, I did South Beach while it was freezing outside. I’m usually a self-appointed lower-middle-class socialite, but none of my friends wanted to leave their place during the cold snap, so I was able to stay in and cook and sleep. The handful of times that I did go out, I found the diet challenging. There’s something nice about having a few drinks at a birthday party or over a delicious meal.
A strict paleo diet does not allow dairy products because hunter-gatherers did not milk cows. Some paleo dieters say dairy is OK, especially if it is grass-fed because grass-fed butter, for example, has more omega-3s. Fermented dairy products are also OK for some paleo eaters because they have a lower content of lactose and casein, the two concerns paleo dieters have with dairy.
It's generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments. The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods. The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control. By following the Mediterranean Diet, you could also keep that weight off while avoiding chronic disease.
Hi, just found your site, and it seems very helpful so far, so Thank you! I quit smoking a year and a half ago, and have subsequently gained 35 pounds, although I needed to lose a bit before that. (Too much wine, sugar and carbs)! I also have entered peri-menopause, which has wreaked havoc on my energy level and sleep. I am targeting a 55 pound weight loss, and luckily my husband has jumped on board so I don’t have to be purchasing/cooking different things for him.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan gives a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of "nutritionism" in America and a look at the marriage of government and the food industry. Then the book presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide, which like the paleo diet focuses on shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. He also now has a much shorter Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.
“I think there are a lot of positives about it,” Holley says. “It cuts out a lot of processed foods just naturally, like processed grains or added sugar through soft drinks or juice.” And because the diet promotes eating anti-inflammatory foods — like fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats in nuts and certain oils — your health could benefit, Holley explains. Cutting out processed foods and sugar will also help lower your risk of certain diseases, like type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, she says. (6)
Author of the South Beach diet is the American cardiologist Arthur Agatston. Agatston has acquired a good reputation internationally, particularly for his research in the field of imaging in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Agatston defined the so called Agatston score used in CT scanning of the coronary arteries to describe the amount of calcium in the arterial wall. Agatston now works as a professor of Cardiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, USA. The principles of the South Beach are not very different from the ideology of the Atkins diet. Despite that, Dr. Agatston has said that weight loss is not the main objective of the South Beach diet. He underlines that South Beach is meant to improve health by changing the “chemistry” of the blood.
The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are evident from both a medical and holistic perspective. While weight loss is not the primary intent of this diet, it’s an inherent effect from eating more plant-based foods while curbing sugar and red meat. Additionally, the high-fiber content of many whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes found in the Mediterranean diet will help you feel fuller for longer, and reduce the chance of overeating. You’ll also pick up additional perks such as better digestive health and effective weight management. A Mediterranean diet can also be beneficial to those with type-2 diabetes by helping to lower blood glucose levels while promoting good HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Lastly, studies have also shown a link between the Mediterranean diet and long-term brain health. These health perks, combined with increased exercise and leisure-time, help earn the Mediterranean diet its reputation as a well rounded, logical, and realistic way to live.
Eat WELL Feel GOOD: Practical Paleo Living by Diane Frampton has over 200 recipes that makes paleo eating simple, delicious, and ultimately, intuitive. So they claim. There are only a few reviews at Amazon. They all like the book, but their lack of details makes it appear that they are not truly independent reviews. The recipes have a Crossfit appeal to them. Chef Rachel Albert has made some of the recipes and posted here [archive.org].
Hi Deloris – Personally, I think Nutrisystem is the best meal delivery diet and the one I recommend most. That said, South Beach Diet is a great option too. The meals and food types vary between programs, so I’d suggest looking at both menus to see if there’s one that you might like better. When it comes to weight loss, they both work about the same – 1 to 2 pounds per week for most folks. Hope that helps – NS

Looking for a step-by-step guide to eating Mediterranean? Check out our 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan. Our most popular book will take you on a 28-day journey through many of the delicious and satisfying tastes of the Mediterranean Diet. You’ll get ingredient and equipment lists, nutritional information, and an entire month of Mediterranean breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Also available as an e-book!

In phase two, aka “steady weight loss,” you'll reintroduce "good" carbs, such as whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and fruit. You’ll eat three meals and three snacks a day; all meals are delivered and the snacks can be, though you’ll need to purchase some of your own fresh grocery foods to complete the plan. You also have the option of adding in two DIY meals each week, which can be cooked at home or eaten out. A glass or two of wine or other alcohol each week is OK. You'll stick with this phase until you reach your weight goal.
"We now know that in general, a sugar-containing food like a brownie may have 30 grams of carbohydrate in it, but that brownie will have the same effect on your blood glucose as 2/3 cup of rice or one cup of applesauce, both of which have 30 grams of carbohydrate in them," says Campbell. "So, if this man's meal plan developed with a dietitian states that he can eat 60 grams of carbohydrate at a meal, he can decide how he 'spends'  those 60 grams. One time he may have 2/3 cup of rice and one cup of peas. Another time he may decide, for his carb choices, to eat a small baked potato, a cup of milk and have the brownie for dessert."
×